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Local News

  • 4c9m (Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash)
    Article: Jan 20, 2021
    By Councillor Dave Busby

    Let me start by saying that I hate paying for car parking with a passion. I will always look for somewhere to park for free even if it results in a mile walk in both directions. I have never paid for car parking in Ipswich (apart from in the evenings) and would, irrationally, be quite happy to turn round and go home if I can't find a free space.

  • kgw0
    Article: Jan 7, 2021

    Suffolk Liberal Democrats select Justice campaigner as their Police &
    Crime Commissioner candidate.


    Justice campaigner and former Parliamentary Candidate James
    Sandbach has been selected as the Liberal Democrats' candidate for
    the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner election in Suffolk.


    James has been involved in Suffolk politics for several years having been the Lib Dem
    Parliamentary candidate in Suffolk Coastal (2015 and 2017) and Central Suffolk and
    North Ipswich (2019). He lives in Saxmundham where he is Town Councillor.

  • 9dqz (Photo by Rohan Makhecha on Unsplash)
    Article: Dec 22, 2020
    By Councillor Dave Busby

    Introduction

    Could we finally be seeing cheaper electricity, generated and supplied by local councils? Could we be taking a big step towards zero carbon emissions? The New Local Electricity bill has the chance to deliver this but it has been tried before and failed.

    The current system

    Anyone (a local company or household) that generates renewable energy power can only sell excess power back to the national grid. Specifically, it cannot supply and sell that power to a consumer. So, we have a situation where residents are selling their surplus energy to one of the large utility suppliers for 5 pence per kWh whilst their neighbours are having to pay the same supplier 14 pence per kWh.

  • 2nap (Photo by Mangopear creative on Unsplash)
    Article: Dec 18, 2020
    By Councillor Dave Busby

    Have we seen the end of buses in our villages and market towns? This part of the transport sector was struggling before CoVid hit. New analysis by the County Councils Network and the County All-Party Parliamentary Group reveals that annual bus journeys in England's 36 county councils and unitary authorities have fallen by 97m in the past decade. The number of passenger journeys in counties dropped by 12.1% during the period, almost double the England average of 6.4%. The research attributed the reduction in rural bus journeys to a funding gap of £348m.

  • U turn sign
    Article: Dec 17, 2020

    We are not used to receiving any good news from the Government but we are about to get an early Christmas present. A controversial part of a planning White Paper was to introduce a new housing algorithm which would determine where and how many new houses should be built. It significantly ramped up the targets for many rural areas - here in Babergh our annual target was to jump from 416 to 750. Not only do we already struggle to hit the existing target but it would make the 5 years of work and 512 pages of the Joint Local Plan worthless.

  • an6x (Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash)
    Article: Dec 11, 2020
    By Councillor Dave Busby

    Introduction

    The decarbonisation of housing is one of the most important strands of action to deliver climate targets, whilst also addressing the wrongs of fuel poverty and poor health due to sub-standard housing. Low-carbon housing tends to focus on new-builds, however, 80% of the homes we will be inhabiting in 2045 are already built so improving the performance of the existing housing stock is vital.

  • jdsa
    Article: Dec 1, 2020

    Like us you may marvel at how the Government can create a covid tier scheme which sees Suffolk with one of the lowest infection rates in England enter lock-down2 in Tier one and come out of it with greater restrictions in Tier 2

    The recent spike in cases in Hadleigh does however show how easy it is for the virus to spread if appropriate precautions are not taken and people let social distancing disciplines slip

  • ln30 (Photo by Tom Juggins on Unsplash)
    Article: Nov 27, 2020
    By Councillor Dave Busby

    Towering Inferno

    Plans for the redevelopment of Anglia Square in Norwich have gone up in flames after Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick ruled that the development cannot go ahead. The area was set to be reinvigorated with 1,250 homes centred around a 20-storey tower block, a cinema, hotel and shops. The latest twist in this saga leaves the High Court as the final recourse for the developers.

  • dw
    Article: Nov 17, 2020

    As you are all aware the Lib Dems are members of a rainbow group at the County Council comprising of 5 LD's, 3 Green and 4 Ind. We did have an extra Ind. member but he decided to jump ship during the year to the Conservatives, I think he was worried about losing his seat at the forthcoming elections. We are now led by the Green Cllr Elfrede Bramley-Crawshore as has been our policy we have changed leadership every year, she took over from Penny Otton who is now her Deputy. I must admit we continue to punch well above our weight and are really the most effective opposition, although Labour are the official opposition they have proved sadly lacking at times.

  • hhgz
    Article: Nov 17, 2020

    It's been a very strange calendar year for local government as a whole, thanks, obviously to Covid19.

    In summary:

    Babergh (and Mid Suffolk) took a major support role during lockdown. There were a few teething problems with the emergency phone line, especially as staff were grappling with new systems needed for working from home. The Suffolk CC IT servers struggled to cope with new and enormous demands on capacity. Once things were sorted, I really believe the council functioned rather well. Virtually all staff were allocated to totally new roles, whilst a handful moved into specific roles to deal with the immediate crisis, or the potential recovery - as and when - or keeping the day job afloat. Bin collections were maintained except for a month without the brown wheelies being emptied. All council meetings were suspended initially.